People think diamond shopping means going from one jewellery store to another, but what most jewellers won’t tell you is that there is a smarter and better way to purchase that special gem.
To understand the differences better, I tapped into the expertise of Ziyin and Ziwei Low from ZCOVA, an online diamond platform, to learn the cold hard truths of buying diamonds from a retail store.
ZCOVA is in a unique position to comment; they were founded to break the misconceptions around diamonds. And now they’re determined to educate the public that contrary to popular belief, there is much more value in choosing and buying diamonds online.
I had a few of my own assumptions challenged during my conversation with them, and here are some insider revelations.
1. The “Seeing Is Believing” Principle Is Deeply Flawed
Often, people prefer to look at diamonds physically, as though they can tell the colour and clarity differences between diamonds.
A trip to any retail jewellery store will prove that unless the diamonds differ greatly in carat weight, colour and clarity. You wouldn’t be able to discern the diamond quality with your naked eye, especially the shine.
When viewed in-store, both of these diamonds look identical.
However, the difference is clear when the same 2 diamonds are viewed at 10x magnification 360° video. These ‘identical’ diamonds are in fact very different where the diamond on the right is less brilliant.
You may be surprised to know that this technology is already freely available on the ZCOVA website.
It’s convenient, there’s no cost for travelling required, and I particularly like how it’s easy to view in my own time and pace.
The same method is used by gemologists in the industry to pick and choose better diamonds. When making a luxury purchase, why shouldn’t customers also use this same standard then?
2. You’re Being Shortchanged Of One Important Internationally Recognised Cert
I’ve heard of the GIA (Gemological Institute of America) certificate, which grades diamonds for their 4cs—Cut, Colour, Clarity and Carat weight.
At ZCOVA, they offer another cert from GemEx that scientifically measures diamonds for light performance. In fact, international brands have already been using it for decades.
Now, why do we need a certificate to tell us how sparkly a diamond is when we can see it?
Lighting in jewellery retail stores is specially calibrated to reflect light on the displayed diamonds, easily manipulating how you see them. Even a dull diamond or crystal will look shiny in those settings as long as it has multiple facets.
“Don’t judge the brilliance of a diamond with naked eyes; get it certified,” says Ziwei.
In Singapore and Malaysia, ZCOVA is the first and sole online jeweller that can provide dual certificates for diamonds (GIA and GemEx).
If you’re looking for dual-certified diamonds, you can look for LUMOS by ZCOVA diamonds on their website.
And a point of pride: they do this without any additional cost on the diamonds for extra brilliance while other companies are charging 20% extra for the same thing.
How do they manage this? They have their own GemEx machine in their Malaysian office. To install the machine, GemEx had to send engineers over from the US to fit the machine and to make sure it runs smoothly.
This makes ZCOVA the reliable go-to for any discerning buyer who knows the value of diamonds with dual certification.
3. A Trained Salesperson Isn’t The Same As A GIA Graduate Gemologist
In the jewellery retail industry, a salesperson’s quest is usually to make you buy something of a higher price in the pursuit of a higher commission.
On the contrary, ZCOVA assigns a personal GIA graduate gemologist to provide an in-depth explanation based on your diamond preferences. After that, the gemologist will handpick the best diamonds for your price range.
There is no pressure to buy from them as they provide unbiased consultation. You can ask the gemologist anything, from picking a better diamond to recommending a ring setting.
Even if you are not purchasing the diamond from them, ZCOVA’s gemologist pays great attention to his customer’s needs and is always there to answer your questions.
“It’s different in retail where if you go in unprepared, you might end up with a diamond that you’re unsatisfied with or worse, more expensive than what you were willing to pay. We champion transparency,” said Ziwei.
4. Retailers Shouldn’t Charge More For Fancy Shape Diamonds
There is a common misconception that fancy shaped diamonds cost more because they are unique. Surprisingly, it’s false.
“In retail stores, these diamonds (such as oval, pear, heart and other shapes) are 20% or 30% more expensive than round diamonds. But, in the industry, round diamonds are the most expensive because they are the highest in demand and causes more wastage to achieve an excellent round diamond.”– Ziyin (ZCOVA)
If having something unique is a priority to you, make use of ZCOVA’s in-house jewellery designers instead to create something personalised to you.
Mission: Altering The Perception Of Online Diamonds In SEA
Most European and American buyers understand that diamonds are a commodity because with the exact same product, it should not cost more. They have already benefited from buying diamonds online for a while now, but we are still lagging behind.
So why is ZCOVA revealing the truth about the industry to us?
Personally, I believe this could just be down to the negative stereotype that we hold for buying diamonds online. And that is exactly the mindset that ZCOVA wants to change.
To reassure their customers, they take measures like having extensive security and the diamonds are insured during transit too with Malca Amit, a global luxury goods logistics company.
Over the years, they have served happy customers from 4 different countries such as Australia, United Kingdom, Singapore, and Malaysia with 4.9 star rating.
On top of that, ZCOVA provides free resizing and has a Price Match Guarantee policy. Basically, if you find a diamond with a comparable price from the retail stores, ZCOVA will not only honour the price, but will offer you a lower price.
Here are the 6 assurances that you’ll get from ZCOVA:
- Free global insured shipping for every order.
- ZCOVA 3-Point Check to track your purchased diamond.
- 100% refund policy if a diamond’s GIA report number doesn’t match.
- Lifetime warranty on manufacturing defects.
- Free engraving and resizing services.
- Secure payment options.
The progress of the digital age has already allowed us to purchase higher value items conveniently and safely, so why should diamonds be any different?